More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
Breaking: Train to perform at Scout Jamboree only if Boy Scouts end gay ban
Just hours after GLAAD joined Eagle Scout Derek Nance and over 3,000 people who signed a Change.org petition calling on musicians Carly Rae Jepsen and Train to denounce the Boy Scouts' ban on gay scouts and scout leaders, Train has issued the following response:
When we booked this show for the Boy Scouts of America we were not aware of any policy barring openly gay people from participation within the organization. Train strongly opposes any kind of policy that questions the equality of any American citizen. We have always seen the BSA as a great and noble organization. We look forward to participating in the Jamboree this summer, as long as they make the right decision before then.
GLAAD thanks Train for making the right decision and continuing their work in support of equality. GLAAD has also contacted representatives for Carly Rae Jepsen, but has not received a response.
Jepsen and Train were announced as performers at the BSA's 2013 National Scout Jamboree as the respective opening and closing show headliners. Both artists have also shown support for the LGBT community in the past, making their agreement to play a show for this anti-LGBT organization a surprise.
Join GLAAD and Derek Nance to continue urging Carly Rae Jepsen to speak out against discrimination – sign Derek's Change.org petition here.
Jepsen's music video for her 2012 breakout hit "Call Me Maybe" received national media attention for having a gay twist ending when the man she spent the song chasing ultimately gives his number to a male member of her band. When asked whether she supports marriage equality in an interview with TIME Jepsen said, "You know, acceptance has never been a question to me. I've grown up knowing it's just the way things should be. When we shot the 'Call Me Maybe' video, we weren't even thinking the ending was not normal. […] And if my video is encouraging that mind frame with other children and other people – well, it's about time, I guess!"
In August 2012, Train spoke out against a New Zealand-based anti-gay group, which used the band's hit single "Marry Me" in anti-marriage equality promotional materials. The band released a statement saying, "We take the idea of marriage very seriously, and believe it is the right of all consenting adults, regardless of sexual orientation. 'Marry Me' is about just that, finding that special love and making it last forever. Everyone should be allowed to have that."
Yesterday, GLAAD and Eagle Scout Will Oliver renewed calls for the National Geographic Channel to air a disclaimer before the premiere of the new series Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout.
GLAAD first started calls for the Boy Scouts of America to end its ban on gay scouts and scout leaders in April 2012 after Jennifer Tyrrell, a mom and den leader from Ohio was removed from her 7-year-old’s Cub Scout Pack for being gay. Tyrrell’s Change.org petition has attracted more than 341,000 signatures in support of ending the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and leaders.
GLAAD and Scouts for Equality have also called attention to other Americans who are continuing to be harmed by the anti-gay policy, including 18 year-old gay Scout Ryan Andresen, who was denied his Eagle award in October 2012 because he’s gay. Ryan’s mom later launched a Change.org petition calling on the BSA to give Ryan the award he has earned. That petition now boasts over 473,000 signatures.
Join GLAAD and Derek Nance to urge Train and Carly Rae Jepsen to speak out against discrimination – sign Derek's Change.org petition here.